Life is messy and full of unexpected twists and turns, leaving even the most obsessive control freaks among us feeling undone, mostly because much of the change introduced into our lives is rarely invited and not always pleasant.
I speak with a bit of experience, after an involuntary catapult from “happily ever after” into “till death do us part” at approximately 9:30 a.m. on September 12, 2001—when the SUV I was in hydroplaned and collided head-on with a semi-trailer truck. We didn’t plan to drive, but our flight got canceled because of the terrorist attacks the day before. In the days following, while most Americans sat in shock with their eyes glued to their TVs watching replays of the planes going into the Twin Towers, I was shopping for a casket, planning a funeral, and dealing with broken bones and a broken heart. Those of us left behind tend to cling to our loved one’s last gifts, last words…last everything. My husband’s last words were “I love you,” and the last piece of advice, “Take a deep breath…just inhale.” Inhale, I did, and it’s as if part of me has inhaled ever since.
However, this isn’t all about me.
Many good Americans boarded planes on what began as an ordinary Tuesday, September 11, 2001, bound for destinations across the country, but they never arrived. Instead, their trip and their lives ended as abruptly as my husband’s life would the next day. Most had no idea the goodbyes they shared with loved ones that morning would be their last. Nor did the rest of us realize the savage acts of a malevolent few would change America forever.
We united against the evil that perpetrated the gruesome scenes we witnessed—when fellow Americans had to make an inconceivable choice about how they would die that morning. Some chose skull-splitting skyscraper-to-sidewalk jumps, while others decided to stay in the towers only to be charred alive in a steel-melting inferno. Some chose to sit and silently pray while others said, “Let’s roll” and fought the Islamic terrorists on hijacked planes destined to crash and burn.
While the stench and smoke rose from the human infirmaries, the skies were painted a charcoal gray as a black cloud of grief settled over most American hearts. Our enemies celebrated.
And, for oh so brief a moment, American patriotism was resurrected from Ground Zero’s ashes when flags intermingled with homemade “Never Forget” signs sprang up on street corners and front yards across America. After the 2000 presidential election, the nasty partisan divide was temporarily patched with the bandage of brotherhood, as our nation swallowed a bitter pill of truth: We were at war with extremists who attacked us when we were distracted and weak from political divisiveness. As we mended our wounds, time seemed to stand still in many ways. The sun continued to rise and fall; the seasons changed, and we moved forward—although it seemed inappropriate.
But that was then.
How did we go from bi-partisan, two-mile-long lines to donate blood at Ground Zero to Democrats completely losing their minds over the election of Donald Trump? Like the September 11, 2001 terrorists, Democrats crave power at any cost and are doing their best to seize it by any means possible, including making useful idiots out of Biden voters who raze our cities and terrorize everyday Americans.
Democrats are trying to “rebuild America from the ground-up” like former President Barack Obama promised during his reelection campaign. But you cannot build something from the “ground-up” unless there is a “ground zero.” Like the events of 9/11, the “ground zero” Democrats seek is shocking, explosive and cataclysmic. And that’s what we see plastered over the TV screen every night. It all seems out of control and out of our hands. Such is life, but presidents have the unique opportunity to actually do something about some of those out-of-control situations like President Trump did at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic–when he quickly instituted unprecedented travel restrictions, overhauled the testing system and ramped-up the production and purchase of PPE supplies and ventilators—while simultaneously keeping the entire country from mass-panic with his calming words and exemplary leadership.
In the years leading up to and shortly after 9/11, key presidential decisions would affect this country for decades.
Consider: Had former President Bill Clinton seized the moment and taken out Osama bin Laden, there’d be no 9/11. And if George W. Bush refused to allow for the enhanced interrogation of 9/11 mastermind and Guantanamo Bay detainee, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, which led special operations forces to bin Laden’s Pakistan compound—Obama wouldn’t have gotten bin Laden. (Nor would he if he’d listened to his then-Vice President Joe Biden. There’s a lesson to learn here. The modern Democratic Party cannot be trusted with the levers of national (or local) power. We need a September 12th mentality in this divided country, but Democrats will stop at nothing to keep us from it.
We must get back to the basics before it’s too late. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, the “world will soon forget you…when you are thus numbered with those who have no part in all that is done under the sun, when in the places where your foot was familiar it is no more known and all trace of you is obliterated as tho’ it had never been, shall you also forget as you are forgotten.”
May we never forget—until that day we are forgotten.